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  • Crew Resource Management

    Whilst I understand that the relationship between crew members of different rank will vary by company and crew culture, can I please ask how prevalent CRM is within the Merchant Navy companies who take British cadets? Are junior oficers encouraged to speak out if they believe that one of their superiors is making a poor decision etc? I believe that this could be something to bear in mind when answering decision-based questions, or in particular "How would you fit in?" style questions at an interview.

    Thanks in advance for any replies.

  • #2
    Re: Crew Resource Management

    Not as prevalent as it should be, but I perceive it's slowly getting better. CRM is a safety tool, so it should take priority over the comfort of your superior's toes, with the proviso that the treading should be done politely, and couched in such a way that he's just had the good idea and not you!
    '... English is about as pure as a cribhouse whore. We don't
    just borrow words; on occasion, English has pursued other languages
    down alleyways to beat them unconscious and rifle their pockets for
    new vocabulary.' - James Davis Nicoll

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Crew Resource Management

      On the cruise ships, it has made a dramatic change to the bridge team layout and communication channels, and is very influential. Bridge Resource Management courses are the norm, and being sent out on simulator tests to see how well you perform under stress is becoming common. When you have a large bridge team and also a large engine room team you really need to work hard on communication and CRM.
      For other sectors, it's there, but very difficult to impliment when you have very small teams with a wide variation of experience, but the industry has changed a lot from the traditional autocratic management of yesterday.

      There are a lot of skills being transferred from the aviation industry, with training schools like 'Oxford Aviation' developing BRM courses.

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      • #4
        Re: Crew Resource Management

        As far as I have been able to make out so far, it's all about closed communication loops and having far too many people on the bridge for arrivals and departures. As for pointing out things that could maybe have been done better, I guess it depends on the officers you're saying it to, but I was told, in no uncertain terms, that I was NOT there to make improvements, I was there to learn. I did learn.... not to be an arse!

        Size4riggerboots

        Moderator
        Blog tWitterings Flickr Tumblr Faceache

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        • #5
          Re: Crew Resource Management

          Originally posted by size4riggerboots
          As far as I have been able to make out so far, it's all about closed communication loops and having far too many people on the bridge for arrivals and departures. As for pointing out things that could maybe have been done better, I guess it depends on the officers you're saying it to, but I was told, in no uncertain terms, that I was NOT there to make improvements, I was there to learn. I did learn.... not to be an bum!
          Not sure what you mean by the former but the latter is just bad CRM; having a scrum on the bridge is as bad as having 2 guys running around like one armed paperhangers.
          '... English is about as pure as a cribhouse whore. We don't
          just borrow words; on occasion, English has pursued other languages
          down alleyways to beat them unconscious and rifle their pockets for
          new vocabulary.' - James Davis Nicoll

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Crew Resource Management

            Benign Dictatorship....it's the future

            Most of the stuff "should" be normal second nature to people, lets face it everyone brings something to the table/ party, not every senior officer has seen everything and you may have seen things they haven't, so past experience counts, however how you present that is usually the trick
            Trust me I'm a Chief.

            Views expressed by me are mine and mine alone.
            Yes I work for the big blue canoe company.
            No I do not report things from here to them as they are quite able to come and read this stuff for themselves.


            Twitter:- @DeeChief

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            • #7
              Re: Crew Resource Management

              Closed loop communications:
              Pilot: "Port 10"
              OOW: "Port 10"
              Quartermaster: "Port 10"
              Pilot: "Port 10"

              Quartermaster "Port 10 on"
              OOW: "Port 10 on"
              Pilot: "Port 10 on"
              Quartermaster "Port 10 on"

              etc etc.

              Ok so most of the time it doesn't go as far as the quartermaster repeating back the pilots acknowledgement that the rudder is at the required degreee, but that is how it's supposed to go if you were to follow it to the letter.

              Size4riggerboots

              Moderator
              Blog tWitterings Flickr Tumblr Faceache

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              • #8
                Re: Crew Resource Management

                Ah right, I see; old-style call back then confirmation. It's useful for letting everyone in earshot know what's happening, but feedback about potential or actual problems should be welcomed from any point in the chain; after all, everyone present is a trained seafarer with different experiences like chiefy says, so may spot something everyone else overlooked. The trick is inserting the info into the feedback loop without bruising any egos!
                '... English is about as pure as a cribhouse whore. We don't
                just borrow words; on occasion, English has pursued other languages
                down alleyways to beat them unconscious and rifle their pockets for
                new vocabulary.' - James Davis Nicoll

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Crew Resource Management

                  It wasn't during that sort of time I came a cropper: In my first week on one ship I asked in a fire drill de-brief whether it might not have been a good idea to use a water wall to stop smoke billowing out of a door while everyone was congregated there. In fact we should have all been mustered much further back, with at least one, if not two, fire doors between us and the door to the space where the fire was. I was told, by the C/O, that of course they would have done that in a real situation but the on scene commander had a lot to think about during a drill. (Methinks personally, that a drill should be conducted as if it WAS a real fire). I also found that when I wrote up drills for my workbook and put in anything about what went wrong and what we (the ship) could have done better, a lot of the time my training officer would say "You can't say that, it makes us look ****" and justified it by saying that if the MCA examiner read it they would rip me to pieces in the orals.

                  Size4riggerboots

                  Moderator
                  Blog tWitterings Flickr Tumblr Faceache

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                  • #10
                    Re: Crew Resource Management

                    I agree, it's one of my pet hates to have drills that differ from what a genuine emergency response will be. It completely defeats the purpose of having a drill. There's only so many times you can say that at a safety meeting before it gets boring.
                    '... English is about as pure as a cribhouse whore. We don't
                    just borrow words; on occasion, English has pursued other languages
                    down alleyways to beat them unconscious and rifle their pockets for
                    new vocabulary.' - James Davis Nicoll

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Crew Resource Management

                      Yeah, cos safety meetings start out as a bundle of fun don't they?

                      Size4riggerboots

                      Moderator
                      Blog tWitterings Flickr Tumblr Faceache

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                      • #12
                        Re: Crew Resource Management

                        Laugh a minute, and that's before the old man throws a wobbly and tears a(nother) strip off the mate for our delectation. I'm sure he's a nice man really, but he's a pain onboard.
                        '... English is about as pure as a cribhouse whore. We don't
                        just borrow words; on occasion, English has pursued other languages
                        down alleyways to beat them unconscious and rifle their pockets for
                        new vocabulary.' - James Davis Nicoll

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Crew Resource Management

                          Thanks for the replies so far. The general consensus appears to be that CRM, or at least aspects of it, are present in the Merchant Navy. I will most likely consider this in any upcoming interviews, I may try to fit a mention/brief discussion of CRM into my answers of any relevant questions.

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